The customers of 2025 are already with us

qimo

Qimo is an operating system with a difference:  it’s aimed at three year olds.  Application software for toddlers has been around for a long time, of course, but the existence of an entire operating system (even if it’s Ubuntu a little bit under the skin) gives food for thought.

The much hyped digital natives are, of course, already with us, but even they have not enjoyed the luxury of age-specific operating systems.  danah boyd, meanwhile, continues reporting on US youth culture and their use of media, to fascinating effect.  She is the only person for many years of whom it has occurred to me to think that I might want to read her PhD thesis, but if that’s a bit daunting,  her insight comes in smaller chunks – some short notes on teen behaviour and exploring the question of why facebook is for old people (an inevitable sequel for email being for old people). As one of the commenters to the second piece points out, some of the behaviour must be explicable in terms of the cost of different forms of communication in different countries and markets, where teenagers are more likely to price sensitive, but the issues of inter-generational communication and of trust more generally will be much more universal.